No-Fly Zones


Does anyone know whether or not special zones that are off-limits to private and commercial aircraft still exist? Back in the early days there were several no-fly zones here in Georgia that had to do with military security but with the internet and satellite imagery nowadays this isn’t such a big issue. Also, have you ever heard about “wildlife refuges” that limit flights in order to reduce the noise airplanes have on indigenous species? I’m just wondering if there are places in the United States that are still off limits. Thanks!


There are many permanent restricted areas for military or other government installations such as nuclear plants, etc… They are listed on sectionals. I live right next to a restricted area which has a variety of zones. Sometimes the whole thing is active from the surface to outer space, sometimes only a small section is active from the surface to 5,000 feet. Sometimes its cold and you can go fly out there.

There are also temporary flight restrictions in place all over the place for a variety of reasons from large public events, presidential visits, etc… TFR list:


My current favorite no fly zone is a broad area north of San Francisco that is off limits due to a mother and baby whale that got lost and headed into San Francisco Bay and then up the river delta. They are worried that planes might scare them.


Just look at the big white circles on the VFR charts around Crawford, TX, Camp David, and Washington, DC.


Here is a good link to look at VFR charts.





While I am sure that noise factor of an airplane is a contributing factor, they are probably protecting that poor happless pilot from flying into another poor happless pilot that are whale watching and forgetting they are actually flying a plane.



Since the top of the TFR is only 1000 feet and there are several planes circling around the area at 1001 feet to see the whales, it appears that they are only trying to protect the whales, not the people. Remember, this is San Francisco that we’re talking about.


True that :smiley:

But it shouldn’t surprise you that some numbskull will want to do a low approach for an up close and personal look see (photographers, reporters, you name it), and get a few of these happless pilots doing low approaches, and sure enough big sky theory fails.

After all, we can’t take responsibilities for our own actions, we need gubment to protect us from ourselves.

Planes circling above are probably gubment folks (fish and wildlife folks) monitoring the progress of the whales, not necessarily sightseers.



If you subscribe to, in the aviation section, they have a graphical TFR map that shows the “no-flys” for both “other” and “vip/presidential”. You can click on the areas and it will bring up a sectional for that area. Click in the outlined area and the actual TFR will popup. Pretty handy, plus, I really like the aviation weather maps they provide. They also have an FAA approved site for weather now.

#11 provides this very same graphical information for free.



As does this free FAA site:


Don’t you need a pilot certificate to log onto

Here’s another great resource I’ve recently found for flight planning and teaching airspace.
This is 3D airspace including all class E,D,C,B, restricted and MOA’s for Google earth.


…and Kennebunkport, ME.


Yes you are correct, at minimum student pilot certificate is required.

However given my druthers of paying (Weathertap) vs free (DUAT), I will go the free route.

Of course, CAFlier was gracious enough to provide a link to a non pilot’s free version of graphical TFR. I forgot about that page myself.



It’s true about the Kennebunkport restricted area. I didn’t mention it because its relative small size (2 NM diameter around Walker’s Point) does not stand out as much as, lets say, the 30 NM circle around Crawford. (8 NM around center at all times, 30 NM by NOTAM)

I don’t know if the Kennebunkport restricted area in the sectional chart (New York) was different when GB Sr. was in office.

Can any collector of expired charts step forward and answer this question, please?


The white 30 miles ‘by notam’ exclusion zone is not on the current chart - it WAS on the last NY Sectional I believe, in any event, was on the sectional which came out last May which I have here - the current one is in he airplane and does NOT show the white 30 mile zone.

If you want to see current restricted zones look at [look in the right column for the graphic and click on it] or as has been stated Bush is coming to CT tomorrow and essentially all of Eastern CT is shut down - you can only effectively depart IFR from the uncontrolled fields outside the 10 mile ring. The inner 10 mile ring is limited to Part 121 and other operators complying with the standard airline TSA security rules.


While it is not completely accurate, google earth has a number of great tools. In addition, here is a list of all the websites you gave me to help me understand flight patterns, air space and no-fly zones. Here they are listed and thanks for all the suggestions.


There are several just 2 miles of the KHSV Intl Airport,R2104 A,B,C,depending on what testing is going on A and C can be surface up to 15,000 feet and B is always active to 2400 feet.There are also restrictions on aircraft sizes into the area,since the restriced areas are just off the runway.